If you’ve ever worked in retail, you know how frustrating hearing the same songs over and over again can be, especially during the holidays. “Oh, great, it’s November, we’re going to hear 23 renditions of ‘Jingle Bells’ every day for the next two months.”
Doing what I do (i.e., writing), I can listen to music all day long while working. Whether on my iPod or streaming online, music fills my earbuds most of the day. As a music buff, this pleases me tremendously. However, music doesn’t just make the day go by more quickly. It can help me stay focused and a little less stressed.
Think about the cliché — but true — experience of someone going through a breakup and then listening to sad songs. Then angry songs. Then happy songs to bounce back and feel better. Music at work can have a similar effect. When you want to scream at difficult customers, you probably shouldn’t. Instead of screaming into the phone and saying something you shouldn’t, listening to an angry song can help you vent.
A few weeks ago, fellow Work Buzz writer Kaitlin posted a playlist of work-related songs to make your workday a little better. She touched upon a lot of the classics, citing Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles and Bon Jovi. So I decided to conjure my own playlist of lesser known songs by some classic acts and a few artists who aren’t quite as popular.Here are nine scenarios you might find yourself in during the workday and the appropriate soundtrack. Note: I’ve kept the lyrics in the style that they’re written, as to preserve the songwriters’ intent.
1. You just started a new job
When you’ve recently changed jobs, your new company can feel like a completely different world compared to your previous one. In fact, you might wonder why you spent so long at that last job when something so amazing perfect was waiting for you. Although this honeymoon probably won’t last forever, you should embrace it for as long as it does.
“Join our group and you will find
Harmony and peace of mind
Make it better
We’re here to welcome you
We’re all on a journey to
Finding the real inner you
Make it better
We’re here to welcome you”
Check it out:
2. Your significant other makes life better
Whether you’ve just gone on a first date with someone who could be The One or your s.o. made you breakfast in bed, you’re happy. Sometimes your good mood at work has nothing to do with your job and everything to do with your personal life.
Song: “Lovely Day”
Artist: Bill Withers
“When I wake up in the morning, love
and the sun light hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
bears heavy on my mind.
Then I look at you and the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you and I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day”
Check it out:
3. You need to be strong
“Have you ever had one of those days?” is a common question for a reason. Sometimes you really do have one of those days where nothing goes write. Everybody’s mad at you, you’re drowning in a sea of work, and you have no choice but to keep going. It’s just a bad day and it will get better, but you have to give yourself a pep talk first.
Song: “Army of Me”
4. It’s not your fault
When people have an unpleasant experience, they want to chew off someone’s ear until the problem is resolved. Unfortunately, that person ends up being you. The problem is, you’re not responsible for these problems. You didn’t cause the problem and it’s not yours to fix.
Song: “Complaint Department”
Artist: Lykke Li
5. You just ate a donut and are crying at your desk.
Those darned unhealthy snacks have a way of adding on a few pounds without warning. The potlucks, birthday cakes and morning fritter all add up to a tighter belt. Then one day you’re sitting down and a button flies right off your pants. Suddenly you’re in healthy mode and are ready to overhaul your lifestyle.
Song: Fitter Happier
“Fitter, happier, more productive,
not drinking too much,
regular exercise at the gym
(3 days a week),
getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries,
(no more microwave dinners and saturated fats),
a patient better driver”
Check it out:
6. Your deadline is looming
Have you ever had a lot of work to do, and then your boss decided to pile on a little more? And then suddenly you realize your deadline is an hour away and you have two days’ worth of work to do? You can either pray for a miracle or work at a frantic pace.
Song: “In the Hall of the Mountain King”
Artists: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
7. Your hard work feels futile
If you are a social worker, teacher, doctor or any number of professions that serve others and your workload never diminishes, you can feel defeated. At the end of a hard day you might ask yourself, “What am I doing this all for?” Rest assured, you’re making a difference, even if it doesn’t feel like you are right now.
Song: “You Might Die Trying”*
Artist: Dave Matthews Band
[*We don’t want you to die working, by the way.]
8. You’ve zoned out
Let’s be honest, you can try to always give 110 percent, but some days are better than others. Sometimes you catch yourself staring at a can of soda for 20 minutes and you have no idea why. This is especially true if your job requires you to work odd hours. No matter how hard you try, working the graveyard shift is going to wear on you occasionally.
It’s the end of the week. Your two days of freedom are just around the corner. The sun seems brighter and the coffee tastes better. It’s just a good day to be alive.
Song: “Friday, I’m In Love”
Artist: The Cure
I know these aren’t on everyone’s playlists, so go ahead and tell us your picks. What music gets you through the day? Or what music do you put on when you come home and need to unwind?